Media Contact Kerstin Schuetz-Muel er Austrian Cultural Forum New York The Austrian Cultural Forum New York and
Katarina Schmidl, A Beautiful Piece of Austria (2002),
Sculpture made of straws, 13.7 x 14.5 x 14.5 inches
MUSA Vienna present An International Group Exhibition SEP 21, 2011 - JAN 3, 2012
Opening Reception: Tuesday Sep 20, 6 – 8 PM
Artists: Clarina BEZZOLA, Petra BUCHEGGER, Mehmet EMIR, Leslie DEMELO, Sissi FARASSAT, Matthias HERRMANN, Anna JERMOLAEWA, Birgit JÜRGENSSEN, Jakob Lena KNEBL / Hans SCHEIRL, Evangelia KRANIOTI, Maria LASSNIG, Kalup LINZY, MUNTEAN/ROSENBLUM, Rashaad NEWSOME, Maria PETSCHNIG, Lisl PONGER, Katarina SCHMIDL, Cindy SHERMAN New York, September 2011 - The Austrian Cultural Forum New York and MUSAVienna are proud to present Beauty Contest, an exhibition featuring works by 20 international y acclaimed and emerging artists who critically reflect on contemporary global society’s obsession and fascination with physical appearance. Beauty Contest opens on September 20, 2011 and wil be on view until January 3, 2012 at the Austrian Cultural Forum New York. The exhibition wil then travel to Vienna in February 2012 where it wil be shown in the gal eries of MUSA Vienna. Beauty Contest presents artists exploring what is probably one of the most trivial everyday experiences: our daily encounter with human beauty and its social construction. A perennial subject for artists and writers, the creation of beauty has always been linked to power and gender, to distinction and competition, to rejection and desire, and to linearity and diversity. Visual arts, fashion and media have strongly contributed to the transformation of the notion of beauty over the last few generations. Widely perceived to be an extension of femininity until the
late 20th century, feminism and the gay, lesbian and queer movements have eroded clear definitions of who and what is beautiful – and who and what is not. This sea change took place in an age where the notion of gender itself has been challenged and transformed.
Emancipatory artistic reflection and practice has fought to reveal the hidden structures of repression toward gender, race, and age and to shake of antiquated visual preconceptions. Yet we
stil seem to be caught in a vicious cycle of competition for social status, visual representation and an industrially managed and mainstreamed aesthetical canon.
Beauty Contest is curated by BertholdEcker, ClaudeGrunitzky, and AndreasStadler, with assistance from NataschaBoojar and RolandFink.
A ful y il ustrated catalogue wil be published by Passagen in February 2012. Press images are available at acfny.org/press-room/press-images-texts/beauty-contest A series of talks wil be organized as part of the Wal s and Bridges Season 3
A performance by artist Maria Petschnig is being organized in conjunction with Performa 11 (www.performa-arts.org)
A performance by artist Clarina Bezzola wil take place on September 21st, at 6:30PM, in col aboration with Times Square Alliance. Please see acfny.org/event/clarina-bezzola-when-i- About the Austrian Cultural Forum New York With its architectural landmark building in Midtown Manhat an the Austrian Cultural Forum New York is the cultural embassy of Austria in the United States. It hosts more than 200 free events
annually and showcases cutting-edge Austrian contemporary art, music, literature, and academic thought in New York. The Austrian Cultural Forum houses around 10,000 volumes in its state-of-the-art library, and enjoys long-standing and flourishing partnerships with many venerable cultural
and academic institutions throughout New York and the United States. The Austrian Cultural Forum is located at 11 East 52 Street, New York, NY 10022 (between Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue). Gal ery open daily 10am to 6pm. Admission to exhibitions, concerts, and other events at ACFNY is free. Visit acfny.org for more information. MUSA (German acronym for Museum - Start Gallery - Artothek) hosts the col ection of the Cultural Department of the City of Vienna, and presents contemporary Austrian art in its 6,500 square foot exhibition space. MUSA also has a ful y equipped state-of-the-art artwork storage and conservation facility on its premises. Visit www.musa.at for more information.
Austrian Cultural Forum New York 11 East 52nd St. (betw. Madison & 5th) New York, NY 10022 (212) 319 5300 www.acfny.org Open Daily 10 AM – 6 PM Admission to exhibitions, concerts, and other events is free. Reserve tickets online at www.acfny.org or call (212) 319 5300 ext 222. E, M Train to Fifth Avenue/53rd Street B, D, F, M Train to 47-50 Street/Rockefeller Center E, M, 6 Train to 51st Street/Lexington Avenue Bus: M 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 to 53rd Street
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